As the exchange traded fund universe expands, the industry has shifted its focus to specialized and geared products. Nevertheless, equity ETFs remain the go-to investment products, accounting for the majority of the overall fund space.
According to Bianco Research, over 97% of equity ETF assets cover plain vanilla, long-only U.S. or international equity indexing strategies for the year ended June 2012, writes James Bianco at The Big Picture. While a lot of attention has been placed on inverse/leveraged products, the ETF category makes up less than 3% of overall industry assets. [Investors Moved Back to Stock ETFs in July]
Even with the increased interest in bonds, fixed-income assets only accounted for 19% of all assets, overshadowed by equity ETFs, which made up 69% of all assets.
It is also interesting to note that assets in real estate ETFs were five times larger than assets in currency funds.
According to the ETF Industry Association, fixed-income ETFs attracted $63.5 billion for the year ended June, followed by U.S. equity ETFs with $48.3 billion, global/international equities with $16.2 billion, real estate with $5.0 billion, $4.8 billion and specialized ETFs with $128 million.
The relatively new specialty category includes new “enhanced” indices that follow specific strategy when selecting component stocks.